The United States Supreme Court
The United States Supreme CourtSenate Democrats/Wikimedia

US Supreme Court overturns fundamental right to abortion

Washington, June 24, 2022

The US Supreme Court on Friday overturned the fundamental right to abortion granted by an earlier order in the Roe v. Wade case nearly 50 years ago.

The 5-4 order of the overwhelmingly conservative nine-justice bench is expected to change American social life as it exists now.

The court has left abortion rights to be determined by individual states. Nearly half of the 50 states of the US are likely to retain these rights in the present form while the rest will make them nearly impossible through varying degrees of restrictive clauses and conditions.

"Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division," Justice Samuel A. Alito wrote for the majority opinion. "It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people's elected representatives."

The order as delivered was very similar to a leaked copy of Justice Alito's opinion in May and was widely anticipated by the overwhelmingly conservative non-justice bench with the addition of three conservative justices -- Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.

Justices Alito and Clarence Thomas and Chief Justice John Roberts are the other three conservatives. The three liberal justices are Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives, slammed the court order.

"Today, the Republican-controlled Supreme Court has achieved the GOP's dark and extreme goal of ripping away women's right to make their own reproductive health decisions. Because of Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell (top Republican senator), the Republican Party and their supermajority on the Supreme Court, American women today have less freedom than their mothers," she said, adding: "This cruel ruling is outrageous and heart-wrenching. But make no mistake: the rights of women and all Americans are on the ballot this November."


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